“Hail, Caesar!” star Alden Ehrenreich is finalizing a deal to play young Han Solo in a “Star Wars” spinoff that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will direct for Lucasfilm, multiple individuals familiar with the top-secret casting process have told TheWrap over the past week.
Lord and Miller, the filmmakers behind “The Lego Movie,” are directing from a script by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy is producing the blockbuster, which will be executive produced by the elder Kasdan and Jason McGatlin.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, though it won’t quite be a typical origin story. Instead, the film is expected to follow Solo before he links up with the rebel alliance. Chewbacca will play a key role, and it’s entirely possible that young Han could cross paths with the bounty hunter known as Boba Fett.
Disney declined to comment. The studio will release the “Han Solo” movie on May 25, 2018.
There has been rampant speculation that Ehrenreich could make his first appearance as Han Solo in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which Disney releases in December. While that cameo has yet to be confirmed, numerous Hollywood insiders tell TheWrap that Ehrenreich has landed the coveted role, for which he beat out thousands of actors — both established and unknown.
Ehrenreich certainly has big shoes to fill, but two of Hollywood’s most revered directors already think he has the stuff to be a leading man.
The 26-year-old actor was discovered at a friend’s bat mitzvah reception by none other than Steven Spielberg, who recognized star qualities in the young man. Ehrenreich quickly landed a lead role opposite Vincent Gallo in Francis Ford Coppola‘s 2009 drama “Tetro,” and he later reunited with the “Godfather” director on 2011’s “Twixt.”
Since then, Ehrenreich has worked with acclaimed filmmakers such as Woody Allen (“Blue Jasmine”), Park Chan-wook (“Stoker”), Richard LaGravenese (“Beautiful Creatures”) and the Coen brothers, who cast Ehrenreich as a major scene-stealer in their showbiz comedy “Hail, Caesar!”
Ehrenreich also stars in Warren Beatty‘s upcoming movie about Howard Hughes and recently wrapped Alexandre Moors’ war drama “The Yellow Birds,” which is expected to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall. He’s represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.